The Armorial Bearings of Derek Howard

1aThis was an enjoyable commission for me because the Patron is a very gracious and knowledgeable heraldry enthusiast. He has always admired my work and so he gave me free rein to do with them as I saw fit. I decided on a depiction that had more of a medieval aesthetic and thoroughly enjoyed the process.  The armiger kindly supplied the following description of the arms;

Arms: Per bend Argent and Gules a Bend embattled counter-embattled between six Escutcheons all counterchanged.

Crest: A winged Bull guardant Argent couped below the tail wings elevated and addorsed supporting with its dexter forefoot a Cross Crosslet fitchy Gules.


Granted: Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy & Ulster Kings of Arms, 17th June 1999 by warrant of the Earl Marshal dated 20 May 1999.

The arms were granted to the memory of Harry Howard (+ 1958) of Otley, West Riding of Yorkshire who was a painter, member of the National Council of the National Federation of Master Painters and Decorators (now the British Decorators Association) and twice Yorkshire area President; longstanding Chairman of the Otley Building Society (now subsumed into the Skipton Building Society), Chairman of the Otley Mechanics Institute and elder of the Otley Congregational Church (now the Bridge Church, United Reformed). The destination of the arms (with appropriate differences) includes his descendants.

The tincture and metal along with the bend between six charges and the cross crosslet are all inspired by the arms of the Howard Dukes of Norfolk, as coincidentally are a white beast and wings in the crest.

The escutcheons are derived from the arms of many guilds of painters across Western Europe used from the Dutch term schilder to denote a painter.

The embattling of the bend reflects the three towers used in the arms of the Archbishops of York as lords of the manor of Otley, which arms were used by the Otley Building Society and the Otley Mechanics Institute. The counter-embattling reinforces this but also creates an image appropriate to the mechanical engineering employment of previous generations.

The winged bull is the oft-used Christian icon of St. Luke, patron saint of painters, and appears in the arms of the National Federation of Master Painters and Decorators being displayed on the chain of office of the President of the Association where the principal pendant bears Gules a Winged Bull rampant Argent below a scroll bearing the words St Luke.

The motto is linked to a similar one on virtues used by the Dukes of Norfolk.

Many family members have been painters and many have been associated with the Otley Bridge Church since its foundation, so it reflects the wider family. The opening lines of St Luke’s gospel relate to declaring one’s faith and thus the winged bull holds forth the cross.

The use of the escutcheons also reflects the heraldic interests of the grantees.

The agent at the College of Arms was David White Esquire, then Rouge Croix Pursuivant, now Somerset Herald, and it is his inspired reshuffling of the elements into an attractive whole that is reflected especially in the use of counter-changing tinctures and the embattling of the bend.

My thanks to the armiger, Derek Howard

If you would like to commission a work you may do so here

Copyright Andrew Stewart Jamieson All Rights Reserved 2108 May not be reproduced or published in any form without prior written consent from the artist and the armiger.

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